I’ve heard about Idyllwild for years. Nestled in the mountains above Palm Springs, a haven for artists, spas galore…I was sold. It just took several years (and a pandemic) to finally make it there.

We rented a cute little Airbnb. We enjoyed the neighborhood, filled with charming homes and lots of trees. Idyllwild is so tiny that our 2 nights was more than enough to explore. I think that if we’d gone pre-COVID, another night or two would have been helpful to allow time to check out the spas and other wellness activities. I should also mention that Idyllwild is known for arts festivals, and I would absolutely go back to enjoy one of those.

We started our first day with a hike at Idyllwild Nature Center. It was serene and peaceful. Lily loved learning about the birds native to California. She got to see some of them in action when it was feeding time.

After changing out of our hiking clothes, we headed to town. Brandon spotted an arcade, which Lily was very excited about. Mountain Maniacs Arcade was a fun throwback kind of place. It’s currently open weekends only, and hand sanitizer is required before touching any of the games. Lily racked up lots of tickets and was very happy with all of her prizes.

We next went to check out Idyllwild Brewpub, where I tried a refreshing pilsner. We followed that with a delicious dinner at Italian restaurant Ferro, the clams and broccolini were standouts.

The next day, we were given a great tip by a local. He told us we had to try the giant sticky bun at the Town Baker. Best suggestion ever! It was incredible. Once we were sufficiently sugared and caffeinated, we headed to a toy store. Lily picked up a toy waffle kit, and I found some very cool math placemats (both by Melissa & Doug). We then had lunch at adorable Tommy’s Kitchen. By that point, it was blazing and I really needed that sauvignon blanc. Brandon and I split the daily special, while Lily nibbled on a grilled cheese and yummy waffle fries.

On our last day, we really took it easy. We walked around the neighborhood and had a leisurely morning into afternoon. It felt like just the right time to end our time in Idyllwild.